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Unlocking the Muse: Epidemiological and Empirical Insights into why Parkinson’s Disease might, or might not, lead to Changes in Creativity or Artistic Expression. Matthew Pelowski (Universität Wien)


In der Reihe MUSIK & MEDIZIN

The lecture discusses some emerging preliminary results from a collaboration network of Neurologists, Psychologists, and Neuroscientists involving a compelling overlap between Parkinson’s disease (PD), its treatment, and a phenomenon whereby some individuals appear to show changes in their approach, or in their ability, with artistic or other creative pursuits (tentatively suggested to impact upwards of 20% of patients). Based on a review and synthesis of case evidence of PD-afflicted creators and artists, Matthew Pelowski suggests potential reasons for such changes – and thus perhaps for creativity itself – at the level of the brain, dopaminergic pathways, and pharmacology, as well as considering possible overlaps between creativity domains. This is coupled with his work to provide new, much needed additional evidence, via assessment of artworks by PD artists and a multicountry systematic epidemiological study of many hundreds of patients involving potential creative pursuits, which hopefully will provide new insights towards understanding and applying the PD-related artistic muse.

Matthew Pelowski is Asst. Prof. of Cognitive and Neuroaesthetics in the Faculty of Psychology, University of Vienna, dual affiliation with the Vienna Cognitive Sciences Hub, and head of the ARTIS Lab (Art Research on Transformation of Individuals and Society). He is currently the Coordinator for the EU-H2020 Consortium project (Societal Challenges and the Arts), which combines nine research institutions in psychology/neuroscience, art education, and societal partners with a specific focus on researching, applying, and communicating the efficacy of arts-based initiatives for societal challenges and health. He is also Coordinator for the FWF project, #ConnectingMinds Round 1 (Unlocking the Muse: Transdisciplinary approaches to understanding and applying the intersection of artistic creativity and PD), combing partners in Neurology, Psychology, and Art therapy around the topic of art and PD.


Die Salzburger Vortragsreihe „MUSIK & MEDIZIN“ präsentiert wissenschaftliche und künstlerische Beiträge führender internationaler Expert*innen verschiedener Disziplinen, um die Wechselwirkungen und Mechanismen zwischen Erfahrung, Verarbeitung und psychophysiologischen Auswirkungen von Musik auf den Menschen zu untersuchen und gleichzeitig zu verstehen, wie Musik Gesundheit und Wohlbefinden fördern kann.

Die Vorträge in dieser Reihe sind auch Teil einer disziplinübergreifenden Lehrveranstaltung, in der jeweils Themen aus dem Forschungsumfeld der eingeladenen Vortragenden diskutiert werden.

Konzeption und Organisation

Katarzyna Grebosz-Haring (Systematische Musikwissenschafterin | PB (Inter)Mediation, Interuniversitäre Einrichtung Wissenschaft und Kunst | Universität Mozarteum Salzburg / Universität Salzburg).
In Zusammenarbeit mit Günther Bernatzky (Biologe | Fachbereich Biowissenschaften, Ökologie und Evolution, Universität Salzburg) und Leonhard Thun-Hohenstein (Kinder- und Jugendpsychiater | Paracelsus Medizinische Privatuniversität Salzburg)


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